Does Botox Work?

Does Botox Really Work?

Yes! Botox improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and is an effective tool in maintaining a youthful appearance.  How does Botox do this?  Botox works by preventing a muscle from moving for a limited time, thus relaxing our existing wrinkles and/or preventing wrinkles from forming.  It is most commonly used to help relax the facial muscles that cause fine lines, forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and the “11’s” lines that form between the eyebrows.

The Science Behind Botox

Botox works by injecting the botulinum neurotoxin into specified muscles to block chemical signals from nerves that cause muscles to contract.  The aesthetic clinical result is to relax the facial muscles that cause frown lines and other facial wrinkles. Botox is safe when administered as directed by a trained medical professional. In fact, Botox has many clinical uses, including to treat chronic migraines, spastic disorders, overactive bladder, TMJ, among other uses.

What To Expect From Your Botox Treatment

The desired effect from Botox injections is not immediate. The effects usually begin to show at 3 days, but can take up to two weeks to see the full results. Asymmetry and continued movement of the muscles is normal, especially if it’s your first-time trying Botox or if you are using a new provider who is getting to know your face.  Asymmetry and continued movement can be easily treated by adding more Botox. However, we recommend waiting the full two weeks before adding more Botox, as this is the point you will see the full effect and can accurately assess the amount of additional units needed. 

How Much Botox Do I Need?

Botox is measured in “units” and the number of units needed varies by the individual and the desired result. Treating the forehead and crow’s feet areas typically requires 30-70 units. If you are looking for preventative “Baby Botox” you may need closer to 20-30 units. We recommend starting with less, as additional units can always be added but if you do too much and don’t like the effect you have to wait until it wears off.  There is currently no way to reverse Botox once it is injected, the results will typically last 3-6 months.

If you are using another neurotoxin product such as Dysport, your units needed will not be the same as Botox.  For Dysport, you typically need 2-2.5x times the number of units you usually use of Botox.

How Much Does Botox Cost?

Most providers charge by the unit for Botox and $12-$24/unit is typical, depending on your geographical area and the expertise of your injector. If you are seeing ads for less than that, it is most likely a different neuromodulator they are injecting.  Botox is manufactured by Allergan and it is the gold standard of neuromodulators. The closest related product is Jeuveau which is manufactured by Evolus.  Neurotoxins are expensive because the product itself is expensive, and you want to make sure you are using a highly trained medical professional. The most important factor in considering where to have your Botox treatment is the experience and training of your injector.

What Age Should You Start Botox?

A good time to start Botox is once you start noticing fine lines beginning to form. The benefit of starting Botox early is you can delay the onset of wrinkles. If you have existing wrinkles, Botox can help soften them and prevent them from getting more pronounced. If you want to prevent wrinkles, Botox works as a great preventative measure when injected in your 20s and 30s before wrinkles fully form.

Preventative Botox works by helping to train your facial muscles to no longer fall into the habit, preventing the formation of deeper more noticeable wrinkles. An added benefit of preventative Botox is that it helps weaken the muscles over time, so you don’t need as much Botox as you get older. With continued used of Botox over time, Botox will eventually last longer between treatments.

I Want To Try Botox, Where Do I Start?

At MarElyse MediSpa, we prefer a less is more approach. It’s best for your clinician to learn your face over time, rather than starting too strong and having to wait 3-6 months for your face to return to its natural state. If you are new to Botox, we suggest a preventative dose as you can always add more!  If you’ve had Botox before, it’s helpful to know how many units you’ve had in the past to assess the right amount for you.

It’s also important to remember that Botox works great at freezing your expression lines, but there are other important tools in your arsenal that can be used to keep you looking your freshest self! The number one tool to help you age gracefully (and to protect the health of your skin) is to wear your SPF and limit sun exposure.  Once the effects of the sun and environmental factors take hold, Lasers and BroadBand Light therapy are excellent at combatting sunspots, age spots, poor texture, and stimulating collagen production.  BroadBand light and laser therapy work really well in conjunction with Botox to address fine lines and wrinkles, and to age gracefully.


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